- Employees leave their jobs for many reasons, but some of the most common ones include company culture, poor communication, lack of career development, and stress.
- You can use technology to remedy these issues and increase retention. By allowing remote opportunities or investing in software for topics as varied as project management and online learning, you’ll have the tools you need to make – and keep – your employees happy.
Once you recruit the employees you’ve been looking for, your next challenge is to keep them. According to Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report, 27% of employees voluntarily left their jobs in 2018, and that number has only risen since. Besides the promise of better wages, employees are typically swayed by factors like a more engaging company culture, clearer communication, and increased opportunities for career growth. This means you can actually prevent most voluntary turnover as long as you find out why your employees are leaving. Once you do, you can make changes that will entice them to stay.
With technology’s increasing role in the workplace, upgrading your retention strategy is easier than ever. Allowing remote work and investing in the right software can relieve employee concerns and keep your talent where you want it – at your company, not your competitor’s.
1. Survey Employees to Enhance Company Culture
38% of workers want to leave their job because of an unpleasant work environment. Before you make any changes or purchase any new software, it’s important to understand your organization’s current culture. What do your employees like about your organization? What do they dislike? Do they feel valued and respected? Are their projects meaningful? Are their workloads manageable?
After you gather this information, you can pinpoint areas for development and make changes based on the feedback you receive. Survey software makes this easy. These programs send surveys to your workforce daily or weekly, asking a range of questions that probe organizational culture and employee satisfaction. The surveys include questions like, Are you motivated by your organization’s values? and statements such as, My manager cares about my work and opinions, with possible responses ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Other questions can be open-ended, allowing employees to type in their own responses and give personal, detailed feedback.
These programs also stress anonymity and reporting. If employees think they’ll be identified by their responses, they may skew their feedback to please managers or maintain the status quo. Anonymity lets employees give honest feedback without fear of retribution. These programs also compile responses into reports and visualized data so you can easily pick out the strengths and weaknesses of your organization’s culture.
While it’s important to survey your employees when making initial changes, it should be an ongoing process, and frequent feedback can boost employee engagement by up to 16%. Examples of popular survey software include 15Five, Officevibe, and Tiny Pulse, but there are dozens of options to choose from.
2. Improve Workflow with Project Management Tools
Keeping track of every team member and every detail in every project is a difficult task, no matter how experienced an employee may be. Employees can lose valuable time wrestling with spreadsheets, rehashing project details, and wrangling to-do lists into assignable tasks. This is where work management software steps in, giving employees the tools they need to stay organized without wasting time.
Project management software allows users to create and assign tasks, as well as schedule due dates and automate notifications for approaching deadlines. A variety of data, such as how long it takes a user to complete a task, can be compiled into reports that will help teams plan for the future and adjust their current task lists. Many management systems also double as communication networks, giving users the ability to share files, post updates, and respond to each other’s progress. The collaborative process is streamlined, resulting in employees who are committed and purposeful, with high engagement producing 59% less turnover.
3. Boost Job Flexibility by Offering Remote Work
Many employees value the option for remote work and consider it a major factor when deciding between job offers. In fact, an overwhelming 80% of employees would turn down a job where remote work wasn’t possible, and companies that do support remote work see 25% less employee turnover than companies that don’t have remote options.
Because many jobs require only a laptop and an internet connection, most employees can work anywhere. Remote work can also improve productivity by up to 85%, making it a win-win situation and a relatively easy way to keep employees happy and engaged. If you’re worried about how to control and initiate remote work at your organization, use these tips to get started:
- Begin with a pilot period of a week or two. Identify problems and record any drastic changes in productivity (positive or negative).
- Schedule online check-ins and meetings on a daily or weekly basis between team members and managers. Use these meetings to give project updates and outline workloads. Frequent meetings will keep communication channels open and hold everyone accountable for their deliverables.
- Invest in quality communication software. Remote workers can’t walk over to their teammate’s desk with a question, so video conference tools and messaging software are essential to keeping remote workers connected.
4. Make Communication More Effective with Messaging Software
Ineffective, fragmented communication stresses nearly 80% of the workforce, making employees unhappy and “ready to quit.” If you allow employees to work remotely (and even if you don’t), quality workplace communication tools are essential and email often isn’t enough, with its cluttered inboxes and “Reply All” responses. Consider using team chat or team collaboration software instead to help employees communicate quickly and directly with each other.
Many of these platforms are set up like text messaging, where users can quickly type replies, create group chats, and initiate video conferences no matter where they’re working. They allow for quicker response times and enable employees to chat less formally with each other using gifs and emojis, which can help create better team relations. These programs also have customizable integrations that allow members to easily share files, update progress, and more. Popular choices include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams, although there are plenty of others.
5. Invest in E-Learning to Help Employees’ Growth & Development
By far, the main factor leading to voluntary turnover is a lack of career growth and developmental opportunity. When employees can’t advance their positions or skills, they’re much more likely to seek employment elsewhere.
Help employees grow by investing in online learning programs like Lynda (now LinkedIn Learning), Skillshare, or Udemy. These platforms offer a wide range of easy-to-follow courses and tutorials from experts in fields as diverse as design, marketing, software development, and photography. Users can delve deeper into their existing knowledge or expand their skills into a new area. Popular courses include the essentials of HTML, SEO keyword strategies, and financial accounting, but these videos aren’t exclusive to workplace topics. Your employees can also learn how to play the guitar, how to speed read, and even how to care for different pets.
Continuous learning increases your employee’s knowledge and brings them closer to expert status. It can also help them feel more confident in their skills and boost organizational morale overall. As a bonus, you won’t need to dole out any of your own time to teach employees supplemental skills. You might even make money, as a study by IBM found that the ROI for online learning platforms is $30 in increased productivity for every $1 spent.
6. Relieve Employee Stress with Meditation and Mindfulness Apps
If your employees are stressed or tired, they won’t be happy or productive. In fact, American businesses lose as much as $300 billion per year from workplace stress, which decreases performance while increasing voluntary turnover. One way to manage this is to offer employee subscriptions to meditation and mindfulness apps.
These applications address a variety of health concerns, from anxiety management to sleep aid and better focus. One app, Headspace, claims that just four of their meditation and mindfulness sessions will decrease burnout by 14%, while four weeks of their programs can increase focus by 14%. These apps offer plans specifically tailored for organizations and employees, but they also have meditations that can be accessed for free. Other platforms include Calm, The Mindfulness App, and buddhify.
Bonus: Engage Employees with a Strong HRIS
Investing in a good all-in-one HRIS may not be the most obvious way to retain employees, but it’s perhaps the most essential. It’s often the first software new employees interact with when onboarding, and it continues to play an integral role in their everyday routines, as it houses time, payroll, benefits, and more. If an HRIS is too complex or time-consuming, it could be the final straw that pushes a wavering employee into the arms of the competition.
On the other hand, an excellent HRIS can boost your retention rates. If its features are quick and intuitive, employees can perform key actions without frustration. Quality HR systems can also address common reasons for turnover, like poor company culture and lack of career development. You can celebrate employee birthdays and provide supplemental courses for continuous learning, while your employees can enroll in training sessions and set specific goals for their work or personal lives.
Of course, none of the technology we’ve mentioned will impact retention if your employees don’t want them. Before you invest in new technology or offer remote work, ask your employees what they want and how technology can help them. Take advantage of free trials and demos or run a pilot period so you can better gauge the ROI for any changes you make.
SentricHR’s all-in-one HRIS boosts engagement with the employee experience in mind while managing your time and administration, payroll, and benefits. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how our system can improve your retention rates and keep employees by your side